Hurricane Ian could force relocation of Kansas City Chiefs-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game to Minnesota… with the NFL choosing US Bank Stadium as an alternate site if necessary
- The NFL is consulting with local authorities for updates on the storm & its impact
- League officials will consider the impact the game could have on local recovery efforts before a decision on where to play the match is made
- Hurricane Ian made landfall west of Cape Coral and Fort Meyers with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour as a Category 4 hurricane
The NFL has chosen a contingency site in the case that damage from Hurricane Ian forces the game between the Chiefs and Buccaneers to be moved.
A game was set to be played on Sunday Night Football at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, but effects from the storm could force the NFL to take action and move.
NFL EVP of Communications Jeff Miller said the league is speaking to local authorities for updates on the storm and its effects on the Tampa Bay area.
If the game is forced to be moved, the NFL says the game will be played at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota – the home of the Minnesota Vikings.
US Bank Stadium – home of the Minnesota Vikings – has been designated as a backup site
If conditions in Tampa Bay force the Bucs-Chiefs game to move, it will be played in Minneapolis
The Vikings are playing their game against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
NFL Network’s Judy Battista says the league will weigh multiple factors before making a call on the game – including the impact playing will have on local resources needed for recovery and disaster relief.
The league plans to consult teams, local leaders, and those directly involved with disaster relief before making a final decision.
The Buccaneers plan to practice away from the storm in Miami this week, as the Dolphins are playing away in Cincinnati on Thursday night.
Bucs team and staff members and their families all made the trip to Miami to evacuate the area ahead of time, with safety of those involved with the organization a top priority.
Tampa Bay (pictured) saw water levels recede ahead of the storm’s impact on the area
‘Miami came up and it looked like it wasn’t going to hit us hard [here], and it was an easier trip,’ Bucs head coach Todd Bowles said.
‘So people who have pets and everything else, and older grandparents and parents that were with them could drive down. They wanted to be closer to their families, so that played into it a lot.
‘We’re going to try to go about business as usual, and it’s a little different, but everybody’s families are safe, so hopefully we can concentrate.’
Bowles added that his team is focusing on preparation for the game ahead and says the team will be unfazed regardless of wherever they play.
‘Hopefully it is Tampa, and everything is fine, and that means we’re not damaged too much,’ Bowles said. ‘But if we have to play elsewhere, we just have to focus and lock in. No one’s going to feel sorry for us, so we’ve got to be ready to play.’
Hurricane Ian first made landfall near the cities of Cape Coral and Fort Meyers on Florida’s west coast, located some 90 miles south of Raymond James Stadium. It hit made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour.